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Utah family loses home, belongings in fire

A Grantsville couple lost their home and belongings in a fire on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.
A Grantsville couple lost their home and belongings in a fire on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.
MaKell Brown

GRANTSVILLE — A Grantsville couple lost their home and all their belongings Saturday evening in a fire, family members said.

Rodney and Rebecca Hammond were at their home, 365 S. Cooley St., when it went up in flames.

"I heard somebody pounding on the door and I ran upstairs and they said your house is on fire," Rebecca Hammond recalled. None of the house's fire alarms went off, she said.

She yelled for her husband. When she turned around, she saw him running down the stairs, surrounded by fire.

"I saw fire behind my husband, and it was totally engulfed in flames. Just bright orange like you see on TV when they're running through the fire. He was running away from it," Hammond said.

The couple made it out of the home safely but believe that if it had been any later, it could've been too late. Rebecca Hammond said her husband is a disabled veteran and has PTSD. He has a companion cat and the couple found the cat outside after the fire.

But they lost everything else.

"It's amazing how, if a fire's hot enough, everything just disappears," Rodney Hammond said. He said a fire investigator told them the fire started because of an air conditioning ignition problem.

After losing their home, the Hammonds say community members they don't even know have stepped in to help them.

"They came out of the woodwork, just from everywhere," Rebecca Hammond said.

"I want to thank all the people, because last night, it was hopeless. The house went up so fast and so quick, that it felt hopeless. But we've had so many neighbors and people in our ward that have donated stuff and things, money, clothing, food, even chairs to sit on to watch the smoke go away. They all gave us one thing, gave me one thing," Rodney Hammond said.

"One person even brought me a flag, and I want to thank that person because last night at this time I was hopeless. Today we have hope. … I feel like everything's gonna be OK."

Neighbors established a GoFundMe campaign to help the family.